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The University of Southampton

Alumni Story

Since graduating from University of Southampton in 2008 I went travelling for a few months. On returning home I found it very hard to get a job due to the climate/recession. Six months on Job Seekers Allowance followed and there were just no jobs that I wanted to go for.

Eventually after only two interviews, I got a job working with young and vulnerable single mother's at a mother and baby project. This involved shift work such as night work and sleeping over at the project. It wasn't my ideal job, I must say, but I was grateful for it due to my other friends still looking for work. I could go as far as to say that I really did not enjoy it!

However, while at this project, I became the domestic abuse champion and went on a two day course. I was then the representative at the project for anything relating to domestic abuse.

Through this course, I became a member of the domestic abuse champions network in my area.

The champions network had a vacancy section and they emailed me job vacancy details for a domestic abuse advocate. It seemed like a massive jump from what I was doing and the pay was much higher and almost out of reach.

I applied for the job and got an interview but thought that it was all a bit premature and a few years down the line I may be considered for the role with more experience under my belt.

I was delighted when they phoned me to say I had got the job and have now been working in the field of domestic abuse for over a year, supporting victims in a whole range of areas such as housing, criminal proceedings, civil matters, risk management and safety planning.

The job is really great, every day is different. The variety is great and you also have a lot of flexibility within the working day.

It can be stressful as you are on the front line offering support to people in crisis and can have emergencies come in there and then and you have to react to them and solve problems and situations.

I believe that my Psychology degree contributed towards getting the job because I was competing with people who had done support jobs for years and were very experienced, yet they chose me and the wide range of knowledge you gain from doing Psychology at University can pretty much stand you in good stead for whatever career path you choose to take.

I also think that my previous job helped, even though I didn't enjoy it- it served me well in the end and gave me a grounding for which to build. It is worth bearing in mind that sometimes you have to take a job you may not necessarily want but it will start you on the path to where you eventually want to end up.

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